County’s ‘Amnesty’ Plan May Cause Unpleasant Surprises…

Dear Editor,

Unpleasant surprises may face many Bonner County landowners. The County is considering undermining 27 years of countywide zoning by allowing illegally created parcels created Nov. 18, 2008, to be lawful through “amnesty.”

This waives 27 years of zoning standards, like lot size minimums, and 13 years of subdivision standards, like the need to plat. Your neighborhood may change without notice as you welcome neighbors to lots you thought were too small to develop. This “amnesty” is unfair to those who followed the rules. For example: A 20-acre parcel zoned Agricultural since 1981 with a 10-acre minimum was split into four five-acre properties, violating the lot size minimum without going through the subdivision process, would now become legal.

Folks that bought into a neighborhood in rural Bonner County thinking they were moving into an agricultural area now find that this isn’t going to be the case because neighboring lots will be smaller.

The code proposal would affect property owners and jurisdictions county-wide. A fire district that has staffed for homes on 10-acre lots could find itself serving many more property owners, with no advance notice. Roads may not be properly sized. Water and sewer districts may be overextended.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing for this proposal BCRC 12-616 on Thursday, April 5, at 5:30 p.m. at the County Administrative Building, 1500 Highway 2.

Steve Lockwood
Sandpoint

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